Though Italian golfers used to be reluctant to leave Italy and their mothers’ cooking, that predilection no longer seems to apply. Today, Italians are more at home on the European Tour than they have ever been, with the 30-year-old Andrea Pavan the latest in the news after winning the recent BMW International Open in Munich. He won it the hard way, holding his nerve to make a winning birdie against Matt Fitzpatrick at the second extra hole.
It goes without saying that the current buzz on the Italian scene has plenty to do with Francesco Molinari’s 2018 Open Championship victory at Carnoustie but, as Pavan suggested, it had its origins in that day in December 2014 when Italy won the bid to host the 2022 Ryder Cup at Rome’s Marco Simone Golf and Country Club. “We didn’t expect it,” he told GGP, “but it’s a glorious opportunity for Rome and for golf. If it all works out, golf in Italy could finally become a game for all.”
Early on, there were plenty of rumours flying around as to whether the match was really going to happen because...
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